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Roche in charitable act to control 'flu

04 Aug 05

GENEVA, Aug 3 (Reuters): Swiss firm Roche said on Wednesday it was in talks with the World Health Organisation (WHO) about donating a "substantial amount" of its anti-bird flu drug Tamiflu to the U.N. agency.

Tamiflu can both prevent and treat influenza strains, including the avian flu virus which has killed more than 50 people in Asia since 2003 and which experts fear could trigger a global pandemic.

"We are in discussions with the WHO regarding a donation," a company spokeswoman said. "It's not just one or two packs, we discussed a substantial amount," she said, adding an accord might be finalised in the autumn.

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